Reasons for using cloth
Firstly cloth nappies are cute. They are seriously cute! You can’t get cute pictures like this with your babies in a disposable nappy:
Cloth nappies save you money! Not only do you save on the purchase of each disposable nappy, but you also save on the associated bin charges. Anybody with babies in disposable nappies will know that most of your household waste will consist of used nappies. If, like me, your bins are charged by weight as well as per bin lift, your savings will be impressive if you change to reusable nappies. When I was deciding to change to reusable nappies, I weighed a used disposable nappy and I worked out that to dispose of each nappy was costing me approximately 6 cent each! That was a saving of €175-€200 per year on bin weight charges alone (this doesn’t even include the additional bin lift charges!)
Then there are also the savings on purchasing disposable nappies. Depending on the brand and the quantity used, you will spend approximately €450-€900 per year on disposable nappies. And if your child is on nappies for 3 years, that’s a staggering €1,350 -€2,700 spent on disposable nappies.
Cloth nappies last years. And with the clever popper systems that allow you to alter the sizes of most nappies, they will usually fit your baby right until they are ready to potty train. So while the initial cost of a cloth nappy may seem surprisingly high, I assure you that with their exceptional durability you will just save more and more over the years! And when your next child comes along? There’s still plenty of life left in your cloth nappy so you keep on saving!
Cloth nappies are far superior at containing poop. If you look at a cloth nappy, you will see they are elasticated at the legs and at the back. If you look at a disposable nappy, they just have a ruffle at the legs, and nothing at the back. The result? A POOPLOSION! Poo will shoot up their back and destroy their clothing.
Cloth nappies are ideal for babies with skin sensitivities. Disposable nappies are full of chemicals and it is often those chemicals that your babies skin is reacting to. With cloth nappies you can choose from stay dry linings to gorgeous organic cotton lining and keep your baby rash free.
Cloth nappies are easy to use. Modern cloth nappies go on just like a disposable, they close just like a disposable but with proper Velcro or poppers. Nappy pins are a thing of the past!
Cloth nappies can be used with disposable liners, meaning you can just bin/flush the liner and poop, and stick the nappy in the washing machine. So using cloth nappies isn’t the labour intensive activity people envisage.
And finally, and most importantly, there is the massive positive environmental impact of using cloth nappies. It is thought that the chemicals in disposable nappies take 400-500 years to fully decompose. That’s a long time! In 2012 there were 72,000 babies born in Ireland. With a baby going through approximately 3,000 nappies per year, if all those babies were in disposables that would be 216,000,000 nappies going into landfill in Ireland in their first year. By the time they are potty trained, those babies born in Ireland in 2012 would have accounted for over about 600,000,000 nappies going into landfill in Ireland. That’s a lot of Zeros! And that is only from one year of babies. So each year that figure is added again, and with the nappies taking 400-500 years to decompose, there is real concern for the environment around us.
It is important to remember that using cloth nappies doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you can’t commit to using cloth nappies full time, and you chose to use just one cloth nappy per day and the rest disposables, you are still saving our country from about 1000 nappies by the time your baby is potty trained. Every little helps!